Posted by Ajay Tejwani | Posted in Social Media | Posted on 12-03-2010
Tags: bazaarvoice, champ, financial services, forrester, innovation, research, roi, Social Media, strategy, usaa
Earlier this year, BusinessWeek magazine ranked USAA among the top two on its list of “Customer Service Champs,” and now Forrester released a compelling case study today about USAA: “USAA Uses Social Media To Drive Sales, Product, And Service Strategies,” noting that USAA is a way ahead than any other company in the financial services industry.
Here’s the executive summary:
Financial services firm USAA created its first formal social media strategy in 2008. In 2009, it further refined and represented the strategy as four pillars of focus: listening, engaging, strengthening relationships, and innovation.
As a tactic of listening and engaging, USAA engaged Bazaarvoice to offer ratings and reviews to its members on USAA.com. Nearly a year later, the results are astounding. Thousands of members have provided reviews, and USAA has used those reviews to drive product improvements, improve Web site conversion, and increase interactive marketing effectiveness.
- Situation: USAA Pondered The Role Of Social Media To Its Business
- Best Practice: USAA Brings Social Media Tactics To eBusiness
- Ratings And Reviews Provide The “Authentic Voice” Of USAA Members
- USAA Has Achieved Tangible Results From The Use Of Social Media On Its Web Site
Some recommendations from the study: -
- Start with a well-thought-out strategy. Key to USAA’s success in social media is a well-articulated and -communicated social strategy — one that meshes well with USAA’s mission. To emulate USAA, eBusiness managers should do the same. We recommend using Forrester’s POST methodology, a systematic approach to developing a social strategy that examines your customers and objectives before setting a strategy and technology course.
- Have a champion, but involve all aspects of the business. Success in almost anything involves a balance of strategy and implementation. For USAA, the rollout of social media is no different. The social team led the charge, but along the way, it involved other key areas of the business, including folks in risk, compliance, and legal. This upfront engagement ensured smoother sailing once things got rolling around the project.
- Get executive buy-in early. USAA is a financial provider that prides itself on transparency throughout the organization, but that didn’t mean the social team had it easy when selling the ratings and reviews service. Key to its success was getting executive buy-in early. The important elements of buy-in were a well-thought-out review moderation plan and usability testing results that showed the value of the features to the member experience.
- Start small, show results, and then expand. USAA took a very methodical approach to rolling out the ratings and reviews service. It started initially with just the insurance business. Once results started coming in, additional lines of business immediately saw the benefit, and USAA expanded the offering to include them. One key element that underlined rollout success was clear and solid metrics that went beyond just interest and usage. The team was able to tie the feature directly to sales.